This is just a quick update and an apology for being off the schedule. Things are pretty hectic at the moment, but I will try to be back to my normal schedule with new writing material soon.
Also, I would like to share a short story that happened to me today.
A Japanese friend of mine and I went to a local German restaurant. The weather was good, so we decided to enjoy our lunch outside. Unfortunately, the waiters did not pay attention to our table. It took us many minutes before I could actually have a chance to see waiter’s back at the other table and get his attention. We asked for the menu. Food was overpriced, but not bad and we had a pleasant time (except for the minutes when two old ladies were deciding whether they should try the restaurant while standing and chatting just in front of our table).
Time passed. We wanted to pay and leave. The waiter came with our check. ’47 euro 30 cents’ said he. A friend of mine who invited me to lunch gave him the cash. ‘You gave me 60 euro by mistake’ noticed he. ‘Here is your 10 euro back’. ‘Ah, thank you’ answered a friend of mine (the conversation was in German though). ‘Bye’ was the waiter’s reply.
‘What? How about 2 euro and 70 cents?’ thought I. We did not get any service at all. Should not a customer decide whether he/she wants to leave some tip?
I did not say anything to the waiter, simply because I was shocked. This is not the type of service you get in Japan either.
Normally, I would not care that much for money, but giving the fact I know that the financial situation of a friend of mine is not that great at the moment (she wanted to take me out as a ‘thanks’ for my help) and such an impudent behavior really shocked me, I really think what the waiter did is not right. In any case, it has never happened to me before.
What I really regret is that I can never tell people right away that I find their actions wrong. Usually, I play the situation in my head again later on and blame myself for keeping silence and not teaching them a lesson.
I would not call my today’s experience a cultural shock, but it was definitely a shock to me.